|Day 5: Americans in München
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
Roses in sunlight
What bliss to eat cereal instead of pastries for breakfast and to shower with great big fluffy towels. We met with Andreas for lunch at a Chinese buffet, where we were again overcome with joy to eat salad and fruit. At his recommendation, we ventured to the pedestrian zone near Karlsplatz to scope out a traditional Bavarian restaurant, the Augustiner, for supper. We deemed it entirely too hot to do anything other than lie down in the park, so we followed that up by going to the extensive English garden, with its large-leafed trees, grassy lawns and fast-running shallow streams. We stretched out in the sun with what seemed to be the entire half-naked, in some cases completely naked, population of München that wasn't at work. Once we were seared on both sides, although due to our complexions neither of us tends to burn, we got up. We walked at a leisurely pace around the garden paths, past the Chinese tower with its beer garden and big screens showing the game.
On one of the paths we suddenly heard an American voice call, "Marco!" A group of expat Americans living in London, including one of Marco's co-workers, screeched to a halt on their bicycles to greet us, to the dismay of their tail guide. We arranged to meet later for supper. The sight of the beer garden made us thirsty so we returned to the flat to drink some weissbier while watching Saudi Arabia (0) get mauled by the Ukraine (4). The beer and the heat made us both sleepy so we took turns dozing until going to meet Marco's co-worker and her crew of Americans for supper.
We talked the other three couples into going to the Augustiner for a meal while the single guys made straight for the beer garden. Helga the Bavarian headmistress served us our meal. She spoke to us at top volume in English as dreadful as our German and commanded us all to order our meals using the numbers on the menus. She cackled at our befuddled faces when we didn't understand her. She shook her finger terrifyingly at the other girls who, having ordered "side" salads that turned out to be mountains, couldn't eat much of their meals. When the first half of the Spain (3) v Tunisia (1) game ended, we paid Helga and tipped her generously for the entertainment.
We raced to the beer garden to meet the rest of the crew and watch the second half of the game. While I was in the ladies' room, someone bought a round of beer in one-liter steins. As Spain recovered to win the game, one of the girls complained to us that the previous day, they'd been booed in an Italian restaurant during the Brazil-Australia game for chanting "U-S-A" by all the fans from other countries. "Nobody else got booed," she said, displaying what I deemed to be an undue amount of surprise. I stared at her. Perhaps she was unaware of the proximity of the Bavarian border with Italy. Perhaps she hasn't noticed the general unpopularity of America in Europe at the moment. Perhaps she lives under a rock. "How odd," I replied insincerely, and took a gigantic gulp of beer to numb the pain.